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Vodafone Warriors signing Sam Tomkins faces a packed schedule during a week-long promotional tour to Auckland next month. Photo: Photosport

The visit comes ahead of his permanent move in the New Year to begin his three-year contract after being signed from English Super League giants the Wigan Warriors.

Arriving in Auckland early on Monday, December 9 with his manager Andy Clarke, Tomkins is scheduled to meet Vodafone Warriors sponsors, club members, his new team-mates and football coaching staff plus club management and staff as well as fulfilling a number of media commitments.

Among other events on his agenda are a Sky Tower jump and a morning fishing trip on the Hauraki Gulf as well as a tour of the city.

Because of his commitments during the season, Sam wasnt able to come out to New Zealand when we were negotiating with him, said Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah.

This gives him a great opportunity to familiarise himself with his new team-mates and surroundings before settling in after the New Year when hell be straight into training ahead of our trials, the inaugural NRL Auckland Nines and the 2014 NRL season.

Its an exciting week which will also enable us to introduce Sam to our sponsors and members as well as the media.

Tomkins will start his visit by meeting management and staff at Vodafones offices at Viaduct Harbour while there will also be opportunities with other key partners during his week in the country.

An appointment is also set down for Eden Park, the venue for four key events involving the Vodafone Warriors next season. Tomkins will help with the promotion of the three NRL home games his new club will play there most likely in the early part of the 2014 campaign and assist the NRL and Duco Events with further promotion of the historic 2014 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines on February 15-16 next year.

Tomkins is tipped to be one of the stars at the Nines, an event which may mark his Vodafone Warriors debut should he not be used in the clubs NRL trial the preceding week. Hes not unfamiliar with Eden Park having played there for England in its 2010 Four Nations clash against Papua New Guinea.

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Three Christmas parties are on Tomkins' agenda - first an exclusive festive season event with Vodafone Warriors members at Mount Smart Stadium on December 10 followed by the Vodafone Warriors' club Christmas function on December 11 and the annual Vodafone Warriors sponsors function at SKYCITY on December 12 when Tomkins will be able to meet all of the clubs partners.

On December 14 hell be a guest at the 2013 Fight for Life at Trusts Arena in Waitakere, which is again built around a rugby league v rugby union theme.

For now, Tomkins is preparing to come face-to-face with some of his Vodafone Warriors team-mates when England takes on the Kiwis in the first leg of the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals doubleheader at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday morning (2.00 kick-off NZT).

Vodafone Warriors captain Simon Mannering will lead the team while fellow 2014 squad members Kevin Locke, Manu Vatuvei, Shaun Johnson and Ben Matulino are all in line to make the side (although Vatuvei is in doubt with a groin injury).

Definitely out of contention unfortunately is Tomkins former Wigan team-mate Thomas Leuluai.

The NRL has attracted a number of high-profile players from the United Kingdom through the years including currently-contracted England internationals Sam Burgess (South Sydney) and James Graham (Canterbury-Bankstown) as well as recent imports Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers) and Adrian Morley (Sydney Roosters).

The likes of Denis Betts and Andy Platt (Warriors), Gary Connolly (Canterbury-Bankstown), Martin Offiah (Roosters and St George) and Jonathan Davies (North Queensland) have also had stints in the Australian competition over the last 20-odd years.

Tomkins, though, is right at the top of the tree, a highly-decorated player who arguably ranks as the biggest signing out of England since the incomparable Ellery Hanley was contracted for his much-acclaimed offseason stint with Balmain in 1988.

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